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Despite technological advances that are meant to make life easier and social media apps that facilitate global communication, people feel increasingly isolated and alienated in their daily lives. You may never have heard of the so hum mantra, but it can do a lot to help you find peace in everyday life.
Once a favorite trope of modern times and life in the big bad city, social isolation is a serious modern concern, since it leads to loneliness and depression. In turn, these two factors contribute to the other member of the trifecta, stress.
Recent studies have indicated that those very social apps that connect us play significant roles in the rise of depression, stress, narcissism, and other personality disorders, all of which can be manifested mentally and physically.
Using mantras to build up mindfulness is one of the many ways that you can use your energy to make a better life for you and those you care about the most. If you want to learn more about how to cultivate mindfulness: please have a look at The Mindfulness Journal. It is a great way to create a peaceful life, and practice ways of being comfortable in your present moment.
It might seem like using a mantra wouldn't have much of an effect on powerful psychological forces, but finding time to use the so hum mantra can be a big help to your mental and physical life. If you are struggling to get through the day due to stress or anxiety, there is a lot more to learn about mantras.
The So Hum Mantra Can Help You Cope
Although it is appealing to delete all social media and email accounts, many people are not able to do this for practical reasons. Taking on more social activities and responsibilities might add to the burdens you currently carry.
Some of the symptoms of being stretched too this includes constant anxiety and worry, feelings of agitation and irritation, self-criticism and defensiveness, hypercriticism and argumentative tendencies.
Sleep patterns and concentration abilities can be negatively impacted. Skin rashes, jaw clenching, teeth grinding and headaches are additional physical signs of stress. How to reduce stress and limit exposure to potentially insidious technology, while still feeling interconnected and whole is a true conundrum?
It may seem like there is no all-encompassing or holistic solution for this problem, and yet, believe it or not, there is a meditation mantra that fits perfectly!
Although it is not necessarily a magic bullet, the “So Hum” mantra is definitely a spiritual balm. However, first, let’s address a few key concepts. By this point in time, almost everyone is familiar with meditation, even if you may not participate in it.
Once a practice on the fringes of popular culture, meditation has become a staple of common knowledge. Many schools and business incorporate meditation and mindfulness into their daily routines, and meditation is touted by doctors for all of its medical benefits.
And if you want to know how powerful the so hum mantra can be in your life, just watch this video:
Let's Leverage Your Meditation Skills
An incredibly simple endeavor to start, meditation is inexpensive and immediate. It does require commitment, including setting aside time (at least twenty to thirty minutes) out of your busy schedule.
Although it might initially seem frustrating since your “monkey mind” wants to swing from topic to topic, realize that this is a common occurrence. Be kind to yourself and note that like any skill to be honed, meditation requires practice.
Now that we have addressed the basics of meditation, what exactly is a mantra?
A mantra is actually a sacred word, utterance, sound or chant, repeated consistently in meditation. There have been scientific studies on the connection between sound and brain waves, and mantras play a big role in impacting the brain.
Get to Know Mantras
If you have been to a yoga class, you might be familiar with the chant “Om”, which is incredibly popular, as it is thought to be the most powerful transcendental sound in the universe. The repetition of any mantra helps to focus the mind and provides a rhythm for breathing, all of which combine to give you a sense of joy and calm.
Meditating with a mantra is just one possible mediation technique. Since the mantra is considered a “vehicle” for the mind, it helps to tame that monkey in your head. Although there are traditions wherein you are given a specific mantra by a teacher, many people choose their own mantras and/or personalize them, giving them a stronger resonance.
The meaning of the So Hum mantra is quite powerful. Composed of two Sanskrit words, the mantra literally translates to “That I”. However, it nicely coalesces into the English phrase “I Am That”.
According to many Vedic scholars, “That” refers to the Universe, and therefore, the So Hum mantra symbolizes that we are all connected to the universal energy which continually nourishes and supports us. It is of the same concept of “oneness”, of being one with the Universe, and all that is in it.
[Want to find out more about mantras, what they are and how to make your own. Check out this daily mantra guide where we cover everything you need to know about making, creating and using mantras. (Includes: 99 awesome mantra examples).]
7 Steps to Practice the So Hum Mantra Meditation
If you are seeking unconditional acceptance, support, love and protection, the So Hum mantra is a perfect addition to meditation practice.
In this way, the So Hum mantra decreases our sense of social alienation and isolation, since we become more spiritually connected to those around us than any experience an app can provide.
Although most meditation practices suggest twenty to thirty minutes, the benefits of the So Hum mantra meditation can be gleaned in a short ten-minute session.
Here is a handy step-by-step guide to starting using the so hum mantra:
#1. Find time
Although there is added benefit to maintaining a regular meditation schedule, sometimes it cannot be done, and rather than cause yourself undue stress, just take the time whenever it presents itself. As noted above, if you have twenty to thirty minutes, that is great, but if not, then ten minutes of chanting this mantra will still have positive benefits.
#2. Find a place
The environment can play an important part in the meditation process. While some prefer a specific space designated for meditation practice, others may be comfortable in more public places. The most significant aspect of the choice of meditation space is that there are no distractions. This is a time and place that you have carved out for you to transcend the chaos of daily life.
[Want to learn more about how to meditate? Read this beginner's guide to getting started meditating.]
#3. Sit Comfortably
Depending upon your personal preference or physical abilities, sit in a comfortable position. Some may want to sit in a chair with their feet fully on the ground with their hands in their laps. Others may wish to sit cross-legged on the floor with their hands in their laps.
#4. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Taking a few deep breaths prepares your body and mind for the next ten to twenty minutes. After choosing the time, place and position, close your eyes and breathe deep. You will be pleasantly surprised by how the tightness in your chest will dissipate, how calm it will start to seep through your body, as you become ready to start repeating the mantra.
#5. Start to repeat the mantra “So Hum” to yourself silently
Link your breath to the mantra, inhaling and silently repeating “So”, and exhaling and silently repeating “Hum”. Breathe slowly and deeply, resisting the urge to rush both the breath and the mantra. Maintaining a consistent pace for aligning the mantra and the breath is ideal.
#6. If the mind “wanders”, simply bring it back to the mantra
If your infamous monkey mind starts to wander, as it most likely will want to do, acknowledge that thought or idea, and then return to the mantra. Don’t be angry or frustrated with yourself. Rather effortlessly bring the mind back into sync with the breath.
#7. After the ten to twenty minutes, bring recognition back to the body
If using a timer, or if someone is ringing a bell, upon completion of the session, gently release the mantra and return your attention to the physical realm. Some begin to come back to the body by moving their fingers and toes, taking time to savor the transition from meditative calm to applied calm. Some sit quietly before opening their eyes and re-joining the “real world”. Others may express gratitude for the session.
Make a So Hum Mantra Part of Your Practice
With the so hum mantra, it is good to take that minute or two and reflect upon the significance of the meaning. Know that with every breath, you connect not only to the Universe and its breathtaking power but also to all living beings in that Universe.
Mindfulness practice has been shown to help people live healthier lives. If you want to start practicing mindfulness on a regular basis: it is time to learn more about our The Mindfulness Journal. Every great journey starts with a single step, and this could be your first step on the path of a more mindful life.
When you merge with the energy of the world and become one with all that is around you, it will be a truly profound experience. Start finding your center with regular mindfulness practice, and try out the so hum mantra the next time you need to create a calm island in the middle of a psychological storm.
Finally, one proven way to improve your happiness and life satisfaction is to focus on goals that truly matter. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.
Nicholas Say was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has been interested in global belief systems from a young age. This area of study led him to research many Eastern philosophical systems, including Vedic and Buddhist ideas and practices. Today he thinks that humanity needs to find ways to be happy with being, as opposed to possessing and doing. His views fall roughly in-line with the late philosopher Alan Watts, who he venerates as great teacher.